Author's Notes: Whoa. I just discovered Fearless fanfiction, although I've been reading the series for a really long time. This has got to be my place, and you have got to be my people if you are as obsessed as I am! So... This is my lame first attempt. Please comment and let me know how I'm doing.

By the way, I just finished book 36, and I'm really sad that it's (mostly) over, although there are cryptic dealies that say it's going to continue later. I am in a state of shock right now, I'm sorry! This story is actually taking place after the series, so there will be spoilers, but I'm probably going to change some things as I go along.

Oh, and by the way, I don't own Fearless or any of the characters in it. That's Francine Pascal's deal. Right on, sista!

11:26 P.M., February 2, 2006, downtown Minneapolis

Gaia stared at the harsh, graffitied wall and tried to concentrate on the one thought that had kept her going these past five years: She could get out of this. She was a survivor. She always had been. But even as she told herself this, she began to doubt her words. Surrounded on every front, painfully wheezing in shaky breaths, her whole body aching with exertion, it seemed that there was no escape this time. She might have been fearless, but she wasn't stupid.

If only she hadn't listened to her father, trusted that he would come back for her. He'd abandoned her again, just like he had when she was twelve, the day her mother died. A sharp pain contracted in her chest, and tears filled her eyes. How could he do this to her? Why had he even come back if he was going to leave her at the hands of those who wanted her? The pain of it all washed over her, but she forced herself back onto her feet, ignoring the ratty blond strands that covered her eyes. She had to get moving or Houdini's men would be right on top of her. He would have found it so amusing, hearing her call him that. But that was a nonissue at the moment. The guy had betrayed her. Gaia couldn't let him be the one to catch her after all she'd lived through.

Her mind started humming with adrenaline again the moment she stood, and she methodically examined the crevices of the wall. They might expect her to come out of the alleyway, but they probably didn't expect to find her scaling the wall. In any case, it was worth a try.

She reached up a few feet, dug her sore fingers into an indent, and tugged herself up. Her other hand found a new crevice, and her beat-up sneakers ground up against a slightly protruding brick. She felt slightly uneasy, but once she found a rhythm, it was strangely comfortable. Hand, pull, foot, push, hand, pull... The top of the wall came into sight, and she shoved her body over it.

Ungracefully, Gaia landed on her butt on the harsh concrete. A groan escaped from her mouth, and she shakily rose to her feet again. The crusty splattered blood on her knuckles looked black in the dim moonlight. She studied her surroundings, finding that the roof was, as she expected, completely deserted. And although she was on the brink of blacking out and her body was begging her to rest, she knew she had to get out of there. Houdini's boys were all around her, and even if it wasn't their first thought to check the roof, it probably wouldn't be long until they did. But how could she get off without them noticing?

She crawled to the edge of the roof and stealthily peered down onto the streets around her. Damn. They were on every street around the building. The only way she could think to even get off the roof would be the glass skyway, and that was a stupid option for obvious reasons. She was trapped. Frustrated, she slumped down again before they could look up and see her. Well... Anything had to be better than just sitting here and waiting for them to find her.

So, the skyway it was.

Houdini was already in the building. Even from the rooftop, she could hear his screaming, his orders. Going down the stairs would be implausible. She crawled to a point where she could see the skyway below her and pulled herself weakly over the edge, losing energy by the minute. Her dirty, beat up hands tried to find holds blindly in the near complete shadow at this side of the building. Foot, push, hand, pull...

Footsteps disrupted her rhythm, and she stopped her moving, suddenly very cautious of her noise-making. They wouldn't think to look down the edge of the wall, would they?

Houdini's cold, distant voice echoed down the wall. She was sickened by ever having reached out to him. Now look what he had become.

"Find Moore, dammit! She has to be around here somewhere; we spotted her in the alley only a few minutes ago!"

Gaia breathed out a quiet, calm breath. He wouldn't even think to look down here. He was too shortsighted, too--

"There she is, sir! On the skyway!" one of his henchmen called out.

Immediately she dropped onto the top of the skyway and charged across it, ignoring the bullet holes that appeared in the glass and in the wall in front of her. Her body leapt onto the wall, grasping each tiny fraction in it, pulling itself upward twice as fast as she had climbed earlier, without her mind even telling it to do so. A shot zinged by her ear, but she ignored it. She landed on her feet at the top this time and ran across the concrete rooftop, but before she'd made it half-way across, she had been grabbed and brought to a sudden halt.

Even just from a glance at the men who had her, she knew that she probably couldn't take all five of them. They were probably trained in the martial arts just as well as she was, not to mention that they had a clear advantage in numbers. But it couldn't end this way.

Her arm zoomed out and struck the man to her left, and she ducked quickly and lashed out her leg to trip the man on the right. This barely stalled them for a second. Without calling on the other three men, the two hit her with a succession of punches and kicks that she barely had time to block and dodge. Finally, with her body so tired she could barely move, one of them hit her with a right hook that cut along her cheekbone. The warm blood trailing down her cheek felt like nothing compared to the searing pain that suddenly pounded in her brain.

Eyelids fluttering, she sank back into their arms, feeling utterly helpless. She struggled against their hold, knowing in advance that it was in vain.

"We've got her, sir," the taller one said to Houdini over walkie talkie.

"Good. Hold her for me. I'll be there shortly," the walkie talkie buzzed.

Gaia's stomach was sinking more and more by the minute. Feeling that she could die at any moment wasn't unusual for her, but the idea of dying at Houdini's hands was a whole new level of hell. She chastised herself again for letting herself get into this situation.

"I can't believe we've caught the infamous Gaia Moore," one of the men was saying sneeringly, obviously for Gaia's benefit.

"I know, although, I have to admit, after what I heard about her, I thought she'd put up more of a fight."

She stiffened unconsciously.

"From what I heard about her, she wasn't supposed to be this hot."

"I know, kinda makes you want a piece, huh?" the other laughed coldly.

Her head jerked around to meet their eyes. "You know, guys, I'm right here. So... It probably isn't the smartest idea to be talking about me like that. Just a head's up," she spat.

"Yeah, what're ya gonna do about it?"

The temptation was just too much for her. If these meatheads thought they could make her into some kind of inanimate object, they were dead wrong. She smashed her elbow into his groin and shoved her palm into the other's solar plexus, finishing them off with a nice, clean roundhouse kick. Her intense, sea-blue eyes locked onto the other three and she rushed them stupidly, not thinking logically. Needless to say, her second attempt at escape turned out even more fruitless than the first. Well, maybe that was an overstatement. She'd gotten to damage what she was sure was one of their most prized body parts.

"Hold still," a new man hissed in her ear. His pretty boy looks and blonde hair reminded her so much of Skyler Rodke that she wanted to vomit.

"You first," she said angrily. If only she had enough energy to put up a decent fight.

Brisk footsteps sounded behind her, and she realized immediately that this must be Houdini, back to haunt her. She could already hear the bad villain puns coming on, as if this were some comic book and she was the hero, held hostage. But she quickly reminded herself that this was real life, no matter how ridiculous his name sounded to her.

"So, you caught me," Gaia whispered.

"It was bound to happen eventually."

"I was thinking it was more about luck."

"Your choice," Houdini murmured in her ear. "But let's just get this straight. I own you now. So, it's time for you to comply with me for once. Where is your father? Daddy Moore?"

Her breath caught in her throat, constricting with emotional memories. "I don't know. He left without a word."

"Fine. He has the test results, does he not?"

"I don't know. I don't know anything."

He knelt beside her struggling form, almost as if he were a friend. The thought was disgusting. "Are you sure you don't know, or do you just not want to tell me?"

How about a little of both? she thought dryly. "I don't know." It had all been a big secret, all way over her head. No one could tell her the truth: not her peers, not her own father. They had treated her like a child. She had been used to it those years she lived in New York, but two years later, in Minneapolis, for Chrissake, she'd expected more respect than that.

"Do you know what those test results said, Gaia?"

"No," she lied. They said that she would never recover. That this fearless disease was taking over her whole body and there was no way she could stop it. Her father had left her just days after revealing that.

"Boys, take out the drugs. She's lying."

All Gaia could do was watch as Houdini's henchmen took out a clear syringe and filled it with liquid. It was then handed to Houdini, and his unshaven face smiled at her maniacally as he approached. She sent a steely glare back at him in return.

"Gaia, Gaia, Gaia," he cooed. "It's time to stop fighting and face the music."

A slight prick made her wince as the needle punctured her skin and sent the clear liquid into her bloodstream. She'd been so foolish... In the end, no matter how much she wanted to blame anyone in sight, this had truly been her fault. The corners of her vision began to blur slightly as she turned her glare to the men that seemed to be growing in number as they gathered around her. Yes... More men came from the stairs to join the group. But as she met a pair of chocolate brown eyes, she was suddenly sure she was hallucinating.

"Ed?"

Author's Final Note: Well, I thank you for reading. It isn't the greatest, but it'll improve. In the meantime, please comment. I'll love you forever if you do!

Thanks!

Alabaster